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Idaho State University

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Hairy
  • adj. Annoyingly complicated. "DWIM is incredibly hairy. "
  • Incomprehensible. "DWIM is incredibly hairy. "
  • Of people, high-powered, authoritative, rare, expert, and/or incomprehensible. Hard to explain except in context "He knows this hairy lawyer who says there's nothing to worry about. " See also hirsute. A well-known result in topology called the Brouwer Fixed-Point Theorem states that any continuous transformation of a surface into itself has at least one fixed point. Mathematically literate hackers tend to associate the term `hairy' with the informal version of this theorem; "You can't comb a hairy ball smooth. " The adjective `long-haired' is well-attested to have been in slang use among scientists and engineers during the early 1950s; it was equivalent to modern `hairy' senses 1 and 2, and was very likely ancestral to the hackish use. In fact the noun `long-hair' was at the time used to describe a person satisfying sense 3.